“Cry from the Cross” was released in 1972 with what many consider Ralphy Stanley’s best band during his lengthy career. These band members included singer Roy Lee Centers, fiddler Curly Ray Cline, bassist Jack Cooke, mandolinist Ricky Skaggs and guitarist Keith Whitley.
On this memorable album comes the hard-charging bluegrass number “I Am the Man Thomas,” written by Stanley and Larry Sparks. The tempo is fast and urgent with lyrics reflecting the words of Jesus as He greets Thomas, eight-days after the resurrection:
Oh, I am the Man, Thomas, I am the Man
Look at these nail scars here in my hands
They pierced me in the side, Thomas, I am the Man.
They made me bear the cross, Thomas, I am the Man
They laid me in the tomb, Thomas, I am the Man
In three days I arose, Thomas, I am the Man
This same Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ, gave birth to the term “Doubting Thomas.” Thomas’ made the infamous statement to the other disciples who had seen Jesus appearing first without him, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later, Jesus re-appears to the same disciples and asks Thomas to put his fingers on his hands and into his side with the words, “Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:24-29